Allegan County lost a big part of its history when John Pahl, 96, of Allegan died on New Year’s Eve. He was a walking, talking history book with character. “He had the gift of gab and the gift of blarney,” said his daughter Diana Pahl, a history teacher in Massachusetts. Diana spoke of her father at his Irish-themed funeral on Thursday, Jan. 5, before he was buried at Oakwood Cemetery with military honors. “He’s probably teaching Jesus how to do the Irish jig right now,” said Christ Community Church pastor Wally Coots, who shared Pahl’s love of Civil War history, sometimes with a different opinion of what really happened on the battlefield. Pahl had a special insight on the subject. As a youth he spent hours listening to the stories of the county’s many Civil War veterans. Later in life, people would listen to Pahl for hours. “He lived what the rest of us could only read about,” Coots said.